Green Energy: Crucial Gains or Economic Strains?

Green Energy: Crucial Gains or Economic Strains?

By: Matt Doeden
Publisher: Twenty-First Century Books (CT)
Publication Date: May 2010
ISBN: 978-0761351122
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: April 2010

Everyone’s favorite color these days seems to be green, but not all people agree that “green” energy resources are as effective, safe and economical as we’d like to believe. Take for example, wind power. Yes, the “Earth will never run out of wind,” it certainly is economical, and produces a lot of electricity, but looking at the other side of the coin - some people have serious objections. The wind turbines are noisy, have the potential of destroying our pristine landscapes, they can cause serious health problems, birds and bats perish in their blades. Even the experts have issues with this form of green energy citing that “even with massive development, wind power will never meet more than 10 percent of U.S. energy needs.”

Most people do agree that our dependence on fossil fuels will eventually lead to our downfall because nonrenewable resources are just that. Nonrenewable, period. With many crises behind us we soon realized that “It was time to develop energy alternatives seriously.” Subsequently “scientists strove to develop efficient, renewable energy technology—including solar power, wind power, nuclear power, clean coal (less-polluting coal-fired power plants), and more.” The debate over global warming exploded with laymen and scientists alike falling on both sides of the fence. The Wilkins Ice Shelf has begun to melt, but some still insist global warming is nothing more than hype. What is your opinion?

There are always two sides to every story and in this book, you’ll be able to read them both in detail. Who, what, when, where and how? The answers will be found in how and what you feel about the facts this book has laid before you. The costs of each form of energy, the benefits and the drawbacks are carefully outlined for nuclear power, solar power, wind power, biomass and biofuel. The debates on both sides are presented in this book with statements, opinions and newspaper articles to help you make up your mind. Can our economy support these changes? Are they necessary? Will green energy hurt our environment or help it? You will be the judge, but perhaps not all your classmates will agree with you.

This fascinating book will give students a thorough grounding on the history and debate surrounding green energy. I liked the way the book drew from many sources to present the pros and cons on green energy resources, from the common man to Wen Jiabao, China’s premier. Simple statements Jiabao made such as “Climate change is a common challenge confronting mankind” will not be lost on the student today. After a brief history of energy, the book launched full force into the debates. I liked the reproductions of newspaper articles from USA Today, which along with numerous sidebars added a lot of crucial information to the debates. In the back of the book is a timeline, an index, a glossary, organizations to contact, and additional recommended book, film and website resources to explore. If you want a well-written, solidly researched, and nicely balanced book on green energy for your library or classroom, this is one extraordinary book you might wish to consider!

Quill says: This fascinating book will give students a thorough grounding on the history and debate surrounding green energy!

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